Running along the bike path a few days ago, lost deep in thought, I was suddenly stopped dead in my tracks. I let out an audible gasp and the words, "HOOOLLLLYYYYY SH$T" slowly escaped from my lips. I had just encountered a snake. An almost 2 foot long, black snake with a red belly was stretched out across the pavement right in front of me. I was frozen with fear. Should I step over him? Should I try to go around him? If so, should I step by his tail or his head? Nope, I just stood there staring at him, braced for sprint if need be, until he finally slithered off the path into the woods.
If you are afraid of snakes as I am, this may seem worthy enough to write about or it may not. But, you see, this is not the first time I've had a run-in with a snake on my daily run/walk. A few months ago, I stepped down with one foot while running in the grassy area, and a snake (I swear it was the same one) coiled back and hightailed it into the woods as I ran by.
I came home this time, told BSD about it, and tried to determine what kind of snake it was. My good friend, Google wasn't a whole lot of help, but I believe it was one of these Northern Red Bellied Snakes, or as I like to call him, The Huge Freakin' Ugly Scary Ass Snake That Won't Leave Me Alone (THFUSASTWLMA)!" At least Google says he's harmless.
Ok...so it's been a few days since my last encounter, and I can't seem to get THFUSASTWLMA out of my head. I've continued my run/walks each day along the same path, and he's had the decency to leave me alone, but I know he's out there waiting. Waiting for me to let my guard down so he can scare the piss out of me the next time he decides to taunt me with his red belly. I'm tense already sitting here at my computer thinking about that moment. I have flashbacks of that TV horror mini series, Harper's Island, I got sucked into watching this summer. I picture THFUSASTWLMA stalking me through the woods just as John Wakefield patiently stalked each of his victims. I KNOW better than to watch horror movies. WHAT was I thinking?!?!?
I started to think about this on a deeper level. What is this snake trying to tell me? Why do I keep running into him...literally? After doing some research into old superstitions and Native American Animal Guides I was blown away to find this information...
Snakes awaken spiritual and magical intuition in the person who chooses this totem or is chosen by it. Snakes are associated with unseen creative forces at work. With the snake totem the powers of intuition and observation becomes keener and more precise. As snakes represent change and intuition the combination of these characteristics will allow for great new developments in life and the proper instinct for deciding which changes will be effective and which should not be made. They represent openness to new experiences, and thus, opened horizons.
Indeed snakes represent versatility, transmutation and change, their natural inclination to “shed their skins” leaving behind the old, and adapting to the new, supports this idea.
I am not a Pagan, a Wiccan nor am I a Native American, but when the universe is trying to speak to me I guess I had better listen. I can see the writing on the wall. I can make the connection. I am the snake "shedding my skin", trying on new dresses. This blog is the snake representing the creative force that will "allow for great new developments in my life and the proper instinct for deciding which changes will be effective and which should not be made". I am leaving behind the old and am open to new experiences. I get it! I get it! I'm ready!
But, THFUSASTWLMA are red and black really my colors?